Narda Zacchino, San Francisco Chronicle, participated in an IWMF Live chat on Monday, September 23, 2002.
What was your first job in the media?
My first job in the media was working as a copy editor for a group of weekly newspapers in San Diego while I was in college.
Did you have a career plan?
My career plan to be a journalist began when I was in 6th grade and started a school newspaper. I never switched course.
Who was your most important mentor? What did you learn from her/him? How did you apply that in your career?
My most important mentor in my youth was my mother, from whom I learned that I could achieve anything I set out to do (which served me well in breaking into a male profession) and that everyone is equally deserving of respect (which served me well when I became a manager).
What was the biggest roadblock that you faced, as a woman, in your career? How did you overcome it?
My biggest roadblock was breaking through the glass ceiling to become a masthead editor. I overcame it with hard work, perseverance and speaking up for myself and others.
In one simple sentence, what one piece of advice would you give women who want to succeed in the media?
Be prepared to work extremely hard; don't be afraid to offer criticism, but make sure it is constructive; give others credit publicly for work that makes you look good, and never take credit for someone else's work.